Allow me to quote the most relevant bit:
Based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger.
I am still trying to wrap my head around this.
I understand how a company can fail to have a recent backup. That happens a lot. You do a nightly backup or something and you lose the last 12 hours of data since the last save. Or you do a nightly backup and when you try to restore, you discover the backup is corrupted and you go to an older one. OpenDiary had a hacker attack some years ago to which they lost not only the live environment but three or four months' worth of backups. But they did, eventually, go back far enough to find a backup that worked. They were able to restore. Three months out of date, yes, and that was catastrophic. But they had something.
Microsoft/Danger's got nothing?
I can't even believe it. Literally, I am struggling to believe that they mean what they wrote. makovette linked me to a third party site that reproduced the letter, and I had to go to T-Mobile's page myself to verify that was really what they were saying. Because I can't believe it.
Five or so months ago, I switched my primary email to GMail. My main reason: I figured Google was probably better at backing up my data than I was.
This makes me rethink the wisdom of cloud computing. Yes, Danger was a small company and they'd lost most of their talent since the acquisition. But they were owned and managed by Microsoft. Microsoft, people! However much people may mock them, this is not a company widely known for gross negligence and incompetence. If Microsoft can't manage some level of data integrity, how can I trust anyone to?
I told this to Lut just now and he didn't even believe me. I had to show him the webpage. How is that even possible? How can you have nothing?
I was not one of the unfortunate ones whose Sidekick lost all memory during the outage. That happens sometimes; the memory gets wiped by a glitch, or a total loss of power, and your SK has to re-sync with the server to restore all data. It's happened to me a few times, but re-syncing doesn't take long and I never lost anything. Except that if it had happened to me in the last week, I would have. If it happens to me in the next few days, I'll lose everything.
But right now, my SK still has everything stored locally. Presumably, at some point they will finish restoring the server, sync, and back up the local data. One might guess that they will learn from this disaster and have better data recovery processes in the future, but I can't say that I really trust them, or anyone else, any more. So I just finished emailing each of my 100 contacts, one at a time, to my gmail account. So I've got a backup now.
I think I'll go find a tool to back up my livejournals now.